Friday, December 26, 2008

The Lobbying Game: Not Just The Guys These Days; Gals Join The Club & Get Results; It's Generation Next 

Alarid & Leith
The lobbying game in Santa Fe was once a boys only club, but that has changed in the past decade. The gals at the Roundhouse will tell you that a chauvinistic atmosphere still seeps in, but women lobbyists have come into their own as a new generation of politicos gradually takes charge. Two that insiders are keeping an eye on are thirtysomethings Vanessa Alarid and Leanne Leith. Both are Democrats who have quietly accumulated significant knowledge of La Politica and are getting results.

Vanessa, former executive director of the NM Democratic Party, comes from a longtime political family and works legislative affairs for corporate giant Sun Cal, the owner of what was once the ABQ area Atrisco Land Grant. She is lobbying key legislation for the company and immerses herself in legislative minutia as well as the ins and outs of the campaigns. Sun Cal has had success with significant tax legislation at several levels of government. Leith, a native of Canada, works with Sandy Buffet of Conservation Voters of NM and is on the opposite side of the philosophical fence from Vanessa. She is known for her steel trap mind on development issues and for getting in the political trenches when need be. She was a a key player in the success of Dem Steve Fischmann who upset Dona Ana Senator and Minority Whip Lee Rawson.

New Mexico already has a hefty number of female legislators and we may soon get our first female governor. It's no surprise that the lobbying corps is starting to reflect the society that is taking form in our new century.


Just before the Xmas break, we received this from one of our Alligators:

Word from a reliable source is that the Senate Commerce Committee has set Goverror Bill's confirmation hearing for Commerce Secretary for the week of Jan 12th-16th. After the hearing, the Senate waits until the Inauguration (January 20)  and then takes immediate action. I think he will be confirmed on the 21st or 22nd of January. 

Sounds realistic, unless the federal investigation into New Mexico "pay-to-play" now before a grand jury in ABQ becomes a bigger matter. If Bill is confirmed early, state legislative leaders who are looking forward to having the Guv around for a couple of weeks will have to factor a Gov. Denish into their immediate plans.


For some reason we keep promoting Kathy Keith, Lt. Governor Denish's transition chief of staff,to the post of cabinet secretary. She served as director of the economic development division for the state (2003-2006) but was not the economic development cabinet secretary as we have blogged. Are we getting all the blog bugs out in preparation for the new year? Hope so...

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